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2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

Base MSRP: $20,995 to $29,995
Reviewed
March 2012
by ConsumerSearch
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

Best budget minivan

Pros
  • Flexible seating configuration
  • Attractive interior
  • Powerful drivetrain
  • Bargain-basement starting price
  • Comfortable ride
  • Crash-test performance
Cons
  • Transmission could be smoother
  • Ho-hum fuel economy
  • Spotty reliability
  • Not enough driver legroom

No big news for 2012

Following a redesign for the 2011 model year, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan carries over essentially unchanged, with only minor updates to trim level packaging. Its $20,995 starting base price makes it the cheapest full-sized minivan and critics agree that it delivers commendable performance by most measures.

Reviewers agree that the substantial revisions from 2011 greatly improved the Grand Caravan's competitiveness. Interior quality, increased power from the new 3.6-liter V6 engine and improved suspension tuning were a few of the welcomed updates.

As before, experts rave about the "Stow ‘n' Go" seating option that allows second- and third-row seats to easily fold flat into the floor or open up for a cavernous 143.8 cubic feet of storage.

Many reviewers go on to say that the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, while competent, lacks the level of polish and sophistication found in the highest-rated minivans, the 2012 Honda Odyssey (Base MSRP: $28,225 to $43,675) and the 2012 Toyota Sienna (Base MSRP: $25,060 to $40,570) . Mediocre fuel economy and some reliability questions also prevent it from ranking ahead of these more expensive models. As a budget choice, however, the Grand Caravan is a compelling pick.

EPA Fuel Economy Estimates

- 17 mpg city

- 25 mpg highway

- 20 mpg combined

NHTSA Safety Ratings

- Front Impact: 4 stars

- Side Impact: 5 stars

- Rollover Resistance: 4 stars

- Overall: 4 stars

IIHS Safety Ratings

- Front Offset Impact: Good

- Side Impact:  Good

- Roof Strength: Good

- Named 2012 Top Safety Pick

For additional details, see our 2011 review

Because the 2012 model is fundamentally unchanged from last year's redesign, please visit our comprehensive report on the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan  for complete details and analysis of what the experts are saying about this minivan.

Where To Buy

Our Sources

1. Edmunds.com

Edmunds.com editors include first-hand driving impressions and list the pros and cons of the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan. Edmunds.com's detailed overviews are also excellent sources for easy-to-follow year-to-year model changes.

Review: 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, Editors of Edmunds.com

2. ConsumerSearch.com

The Dodge Grand Caravan received significant mechanical and cosmetic updates in 2011 and, therefore, carries over unchanged into 2012. Reviewer opinions of the 2011 model in this detailed summary also apply to the 2012 model.

Review: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, Editors of ConsumerSearch.com, June 2011

3. FuelEconomy.gov

The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan gets 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway/20 mpg combined, according to official EPA estimates, which trails the best-reviewed minivans overall.

Review: 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency

4. SaferCar.gov

In government crash tests, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan gets an overall crash protection rating of 4 stars out of 5. Keep in mind that due to revisions in 2011 of the crash-test guidelines, results for model years 2011 and 2012 cannot be compared to results for earlier model years.

Review: 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

5. IIHS.org

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan as a Top Safety Pick after it conducts its own independent crash tests. This means the Grand Caravan scored the highest rating

Review: Dodge Grand Caravan, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Minivans Runners Up:

2012 Mazda Mazda5 Base MSRP: $18,379 to $22,495

3 picks including: Car and Driver, Edmunds.com…

2012 Toyota Sienna Base MSRP: $25,060 to $40,570

2 picks including: FuelEconomy.gov, Edmunds.com…

2012 Chrysler Town & Country Base MSRP: $29,995 to $39,300

2 picks including: FuelEconomy.gov, Edmunds.com…

2012 Kia Sedona Base MSRP: $24,900 to $29,190

1 pick including: FuelEconomy.gov, Edmunds.com…

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